The Fiat Cinquecento is a classic Italian car that epitomizes the charm and character of Italy. And I have always wanted to drive one! So, when Anna told me about the Fiat tour her partner company, My Tour, offered, I was in!
The tour lasts all day and takes you through the winding back roads of Tuscany and to several small oh-so-Tuscan towns. You can go by either Vespa or vintage Fiat (you can read about my Tuscan Vespa adventures here and here). As nervous as I was to drive a very old manual car, I could not resist the opportunity. We began our day filling out release forms and reacquainting ourselves with stick shift (it is, in fact, like riding a bike). I will say, however, a vintage stick with a tiny engine is a very different experience, but I managed pretty well.
Once we were comfortable, we hit the road! Our first stop was the town of Castellina in Chianti. Castellina is unique because it retains its original 15th century castle and walls. We had a quick tour of the town and a coffee before hitting the road once more. Our next destination was a local organic winery for lunch.
It was on our way to the winery that we hit our only hiccup. You see, we had three of us in this tiny Fiat and a very large gravel hill we needed to ascend. Also, I am from Florida, so while I understand (in theory) the tricks of getting up a hill in a manual car, I have not had much practice. I managed all the hills until this one. Our guide said, "take speed and just go!" I guess we did not really understand how much speed he meant. We made it halfway up and stalled lol. Fortunately, the guide then came and did it for us. Unfortunately, we had to walk up the hill.
At the winery we sampled their best wines and dined on a three-course Tuscan meal. Sadly, I could only taste the wines, since I was driving, but Anna and Brynna were happy to drink the rest. Waste not, want not!
After eating and drinking the best of Tuscany, we were back on the road once more. This time our guides took us to what is probably the most Tuscan looking panoramic I have ever seen -- cyprus-lined roads, sprawling fields of grapes, and rustic villas. We took all the photos!
Our final stop of the day was the Medieval hill town of Monteriggioni. Monteriggioni has basically not changed since the 13th century. Like Castellina, it has retained its original walls. The town is so old, it was referenced by Dante in his famous Inferno. We ended our adventure with a refreshing gelato in Monteriggioni's adorable medieval square before driving back to the tour's staging area.
It was such a fun day and I can officially say I can and have driven a vintage Cinquecento!